WNBC's 7 P News 'Faltering'

As WNBC New York’s 7 p.m. news turns 1 next week, NY Daily News TV guy Richard Huff delivers a gimlet-eyed take on its rookie season. He likes the newscast…

The "New York Nightly News" has come a long way from its sleepy start on Sept. 10, 2007.

Each night, Chuck Scarboroughanchors a usually smooth, fast-paced half-hour show that plays to his strengths and delivers on the promise of a good stand-alone newscast. 

…but fears he’s in a very small minority. 

The audience supposedly hungry for news at 7 p.m. simply has failed to materialize. Worse yet, the numbers now at 7 p.m. are smaller than what Ch. 4 did with "Extra" in the slot a year ago.

That’s not good.

Huff also takes issue with WNBC introducing sponsored news segments this week in the form of "Sports Desk by Verizon FiOS" labels and logos. As is the case in many markets, FiOS is marketing the heck out of their new video product; hardly a day goes by when the Malones don’t get a missive from Verizon in our mailbox. 

Huff writes:

In short, the station is selling ad space in the newscasts, as well as around it.

In all fairness, sponsored spots have been creeping into non-news parts at other stations, such as sponsor logos on long-range forecasts, and stand-alone sports shows.

The Fios logos at Ch. 4, however, have gone farther than any before.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.